Monthly Archives: August 2009

James Fontanella-Khan

(Please note there will be no Source email today due to the UK bank holiday. Full service will return on Tuesday September 1)

Commodity traders signal lift for prices
Commodity trading houses upbeat on economic growth (FT)
 Read more

Kate Mackenzie

Number of the week:

- The EIA’s forecast for total natural gas stored in the US by the end of October (in billions of cubic feet) Read more

Kate Mackenzie

On FT Energy Source:

Markets: Crude leads commodities higher  Read more

Commodities prices rose on Friday, with crude oil firming well above $70 a barrel on the back of optimism about the global economic growth and US dollar weakness.

“Market participants attribute these steep gains to economic optimism and rising equity markets,” said Eugen Weinberg, commodities analyst at Commerzbank in Frankfurt. “Fundamental data do not justify the current oil price level, however, and we expect a sharp price correction for crude oil in the foreseeable future.”

In early trading, Nymex October West Texas Intermediate, the US benchmark, rose 71 cents to $73.20 a barrel, recovering from Thursday when it briefly tested the $70 a barrel support. ICE October Brent, the European benchmark, rose 73 cents to $73.24. Read more

Kate Mackenzie

As the CFTC decides whether to introduce more position limits on energy traders, a paper from Rice University’s James A. Baker Institute for Public Policy cuts to the chase. The main reason for hating speculators is high prices, especially when they move rapidly higher. So why not release all those barrels of oil in the Strategic Petroleum Reserve?

From Dow Jones via Rigzone:

The U.S. and other major oil consumers made a mistake last year when they decided against releasing oil from reserves as prices were skyrocketing, the study said. That inaction gave speculators the green light to hold positions in the oil futures market betting that prices would keep moving higher.

In fact, reluctance to use the reserves could have made matters worse. Read more

Kate Mackenzie

Heritage Oil is hoping to consumate its $6bn merger with Turkey’s Genel Energy and become the niftily-named HeritaGE. An agreement was reached earlier this month on one of the biggest hurdles, Genel’s $1.1bn liability to the Kurdistan Regional Authority: Genel’s investment would provide some of the infrastructure needed to capitalise on Heritage’s holdings in Kurdistan and Uganda.

But what’s this in Heritage’s interim results today? Read more

James Fontanella-Khan

Jakarta eyes 40% cut in emissions
Indonesia seeks ambitious target, international support (FT)

Cart before horse
Solving climate change is about engineering, not maths (FT)

Estimated cost of climate adaptation soars
Scientists put price tag far higher than previously estimated (FT)

Crude oil prices rebound as US gas falls to low
US natural gas touched a multi-year low (FT)

Deutsche Bank sees natural gas weak long-term
Demand weak even in face of widespread fuel switching (Argus)

Qatar urges OPEC to keep oil output quotas unchanged
Weak world economy cited as reason to keep targets (Bloomberg)

Myanmar seizes rebel-held town near China oil and gas projects
Concerns raised for planned oil and gas projects in region (Bloomberg) Read more

Kate Mackenzie

It’s 150 years since oil was first drilled. Do you…

a) Write a long piece for a respected periodical, reflecting on your Pulitzer-prize winning book, increased volatility and state-control of oil, and the folly of peak oil? Read more

Kate Mackenzie

On Energy Source:

How effective are speculative limits in commodities, anyway?  Read more

By Izabella Kaminska

As has been well-publicised, the Commodities Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) is considering increasing position limits in energy commodities trading, on the perception that large speculative inflows may have contributed to last summer’s epic oil price-moves.

Whether speculators were indeed to blame, however, is still being hotly debated — as, for that matter, is the question of how effective position limits on non-commericial entities might actually be in curbing volatility.

Yet there is a precedent to look to. Read more